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In this corporate-sponsored cartoon, Martian dissidents learn that oil and competition are the two things that make America great.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Sutherland (John) Productions
Sponsor: American Petroleum Institute
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Economics; Oil industry; Advertising: Animation
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Oil-based economy isn't sustainable, is it?
Cute animation. I liked it. Now: I couldn't help but think of all the pollution the planet Mars is about to reap, maybe some global warming, assuming that's a real threat and I do. Notice the Martians had space-travel first. And look up how much stuff the Soviets put on the moon at the beginning of the space-race. Also, economies of Soviet and satillite states was OK for some in the cities from sixties to late eighties. My Bulgarian wife can attest. The U.S. lifestyle was superior, socialist-state wasn't half-bad for some. I'm a libertarian and hate socialism's faults, but there were lots of people enjoying life under socialism, I've learned. No freedom of thought, but materialistically it was probably better than more U.S. would guess for a lot of socialists--OK apartments, cars,reasonably-priced goods in some categories. But capitalism in the west was better, but capitalism existed under socialism, -don't kid yourself-. So, this film is 75% spot on, not 100% as the makers would hope.
Subject: Used as the basis for a new music video! :)
Check this: http://blip.tv/file/3619925
The track is Agua Calientes vs. Relative Depth "Revolution Remix R.D." (taken from this release: www.cdbaby.com/AguaCalientes)
"Destination Earth" seemed perfect for it, once removed most references to oil and capitalism. :D
Dodsworth the Cat -
Subject: Some Top Talent
John Sutherland found good people when he could get them. Just going off the top of my head:
Carl Urbano, George Gordon and Joe Montell were at MGM. Tom Oreb was a top Disney designer. So was Vic Haboush, who died less than two months ago. Ken O'Brien was at Disney and later at Lantz in the later 1940s. Tom Ray moved on to Warners and he and Earl Jonas both worked with Chuck Jones at MGM in the '60s. George Cannata bounced from the east coast (Fleischer) to the west (briefly at Warners).
Bill Scott had been at Warners and UPA. He despised his experience at Sutherland making propaganda films and comments on in it 'The Moose That Roared.' How fortunate for the cartoon world he ended up at Jay Ward.
Russ Von Neida was later the head of the Screen Cartoonists Guild.
Marvin Miller is doing the voices. Straight narration in character is quite an accomplishment.
The layouts are just tremendous in this.
I presume the music is from a stock library. It sounds like something you'd hear on a UPA cartoon.
Subject: Destination Earth
Gee, I don't see any traces of the cold war in this one do you? 1956, he year I was born, the Martians discover competition and oil will topple dictators. What a simple world I was born into.
Despite it's heavy handed propagandist cold war vibes I'm giving it a good rating because it's a priceless artifact of a by gone era.
Subject: Re: Spaceship Fuel
"It's comical how the "Martian" can come all the way to earth in a spaceship, but, in order to drive their "lousy" cars back on Mars, they need "oil" like what's found on earth! Ha ha! Big gap in the story?"
As you can see in the cartoon, he used oggsplosive power to get the ship to Earth, oggviously. ;)
Subject: Great for ART's sake & nothing else
Wow, like the last reviewer said, too many people are getting all bent over an OLD [why do you think it's IN the "archive"???] animated short film.
It's great to watch for the "art". Fans of animation [like myself] will like this film for THIS reason alone.
It's comical how the "Martian" can come all the way to earth in a spaceship, but, in order to drive their "lousy" cars back on Mars, they need "oil" like what's found on earth! Ha ha! Big gap in the story?
Also, anyone who's looking for symbolism in this film with "todays" oil & political situation must really be easily offended or duped. [??]
It's great animation! That's all!
I love how some people are so negative around here, It as if today's world is "Perfect" or something (Oh really? A world of Terrorism, Business Monopolies and a divided nation is "Perfect"?!?!). Anyway, I've seen this film before, It's effective propaganda, Much more entertaining than today's annoying, boring and cloying propaganda like Fox News and BBC World. BTW, I'm not conservative or american, Just annoyed by the assholes on IA.
Subject: Destination Propaganda
The only thing that I can think of to describe this is:
115% Pure Propaganda
Easily Digestable and Made in America
side effects may include: Jingoistic behavior, Tendancy to oversimplify the enemy, High susceptibility to the Red Herring/Chewbacca Defense and repetition/jingle propaganda.
Subject: Crappy, Sorry I mean CLASSIC cartoon!
From the film archives come this campy peice of crap thats so cute I cant help but love it. It's propaganda, and while I still hate the oil companys, It's A wonderful cartoon, Campy and weird, Stupid and Facinating. As a cartoon, it's very entertaining, With cute gags and jokes. As propaganda, It's somewhat dated, With it's messages unconvining. When it was new, It might of worked. I wonder how my nanny would feel if I showed her this? Do you love to make fun of crap films? Then you will love this. Aliens that write in english, Leaders destoyed by pressing a button, Awful dialog, It has it all. I hate the oil companys, But hey, I love this film! (maybe it was the huge amount of pepsi I had?) (laugh!)
Subject: Oil our God
Bush could use this now to expand his vocabulary.
The cartoon certainly carries the Bush agenda.
Can you count the propaganda messages?
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Capitalism and Oil Drilling for Dummies
This animated bit of capitalist propaganda features a Martian from a totalitarian Martian society who comes to Earth to find out what makes the Earthmobiles so darned efficient, so he can repair the Head MartianÃÂs limousine. By doing research in a public library, he discovers that oil and free-market competition make America great, so he goes back to Mars to preach this gospel (obviously the stack of books that he steals from the library donÃÂt contain titles about air and water pollution, Middle-Eastern politics, robber barons, or the Great Depression). This inspires the Martians so much that they all go out to drill oil wells, while the totalitarian leader is conquered simply by pushing a self-destruct buttonÃÂÃÂthat he was defeated so easily really makes you wonder about the intelligence of the Martian race. This is propaganda, to be sure, but itÃÂs delightfully animated, genuinely funny in spots, and less strident than many films of its kind. The bright colors and 50s cute-style animation won me over, frankly, though IÃÂm not about to drill any oil wells any time soon.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: Makes Economic Sense
This was a great piece of animation and an even better explanation of market forces. Essentially, Ogg is any statist, command economy that publicly owns the means of production - most likely an allusion to Stalin, particularly because of his mustache. The sequence that shows the Martian energy source as an enslaved Martian running on a gear is probably allegorical for the fact that under Stalin's rule, his economic plan consisted primarily of collectivizing farms, seizing all crops produced, and selling them and using the money to invest in state-owned industry, despite the mass starvation of those working the farms. A theme of Austrian economics, particularly F.A. Hayek's variety, is the fact that collectivism is slavery - which is exactly what it is shown as in this film. Competition, the use of market forces to more efficiently distribute scarce resources, is obviously the better alternative. I also loved the way in which Ogg arbitrarily chose the Earth as Colonel Cosmic's destination - a great critique of central planning, as essentially all decisions made by planners are misinformed and to a large degree arbitrary. Only the free market can provide reliable information and provide a guide as to where resources would be best allocated. In addition, I particularly enjoyed the way in which it showed that the oil industry has its own costs with which it must contend, showing why it cannot simply be distributed freely, as some people seem to think it should be. Furthermore, price acts as a signal and a method through which oil can be rationed and distributed to those that need it most urgently. When price is high, it acts as a signal not only to current oil producers to rev-up production and increase quantity supplied, but also acts as a signal for new producers to enter into the market. This is where competition comes into play. The more firms acting in a market, the higher the liklihood that some will invent new cost-cutting measures that will allow them to cut prices and supply the consumer with more oil at a cheaper price, essentially the paradigm of any free economic system. Our own economy was consistently a laissez-faire prior to the Progressive movement of the early 20th Century - it worked, plain and simple, and it was the most efficient and best for all involved; there is no "optimism" necessary. I do not consider this film propaganda in the least, but instead a call to return to the economic system that served us so well in the past. Sure, perhaps a laissez-faire system would be the best for the oil companies that produced this film, but the truth is it would be the best for anyone and everyone; the film serves as a great example of the way in which the private ownership of the means of production can bring about an unprecedented high standard of living, and in the Martian case, facilitate the overthrow of a totalitarian dictator. The Martians did not want to be forced into going to see Ogg and Colonel Cosmic speak, let alone labor for Ogg as he told them to, they wanted to do their own thing, decide how best to apply their own faculties and labor to better themselves - shouldn't everyone be given that ability? C'mon Americans, if the Martians gained this ability, shouldn't we reclaim it?
Subject: Oil and Competition
Interesting position the oil industry had back then. Appears our nation has become like the character ogg, who did not like competition, or maybe just determined to have one or two companies that control it all.
Subject: A Nice Surprise
Only when the short film ended I realised that there isn't going to be any tone of criticism on its contents. That absolutely amazed me. The narration sounds just like some of the satire that was made on the subject a few decades after it happened.
Other reviewrs are correct in pointing how actually very little change was made in the world in some of the aspects that this film covers.
Subject: take the bus
I found this film very informative. By the time it was over I had learned quite a few things about oil production. What an appropiate time to be watching this, with our current war over Oil (opps I mean terrorism) and all. I'm also lovin the nifty retro 50's style animation goin on.
The unmistakeable mustache, the inefficient economic policies, the state limousines...I should hope this parallel was intented.
The energy of corporate america on the glorydays on 50ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ´s... Now it became bush, tv, fat, war, telemarketing, consuming and all the "standart stupidity".
Steve Nordby -
George W. Bush as "Ogg the Exulted",
Colin Powell as "Colonel Cosmic",
WMD as petroleum (you spend a lot searching but its hard to find)
"The big secret is of course oil, which has brought a better life to all the people in the USA."
Subject: Thank God for non-communists
A martian (probably not a native Martian, since he has to wear a helmet to breathe on Mars) heads to Earth for some reason. Comedy ensues while he learns about oil-lubricated American greatness. Decent animation (I guess) and completely worthless. 4 stars.
Subject: Drink Texas Tea to Brighten Your Tomorrow!
This, bright, campy little film oepitimizes the nieve, can-do attitude of the 1950's. It tells us that if we take two glassess of oil and wash it down with laissez-faire optimism, then by morning we will have arrived at "destination unlimited" -and beaten the Ruskies to boot! I love the tacky colors and the easily recognized rural stereotypes(Pa,he's back for the chickens! Bang!)Yes, powered by our competitively obtained oil (the most efficient energy source in the world, according to this film by the Ameircan Petroleum Institute) the United States has become the greatest nation on earth. Never mind all the compromises we have to make with those shady middle-eastern countries which will bite us in the ass in the comming decades [*caugh* Saudi Arabia] Oh well, who are those ole'towel heads anyway compaired to the Soviet Union? Pass the apple pie, dear.
Interesting mix of cute animation, conservative capitalist dogma (including a cold-war style dis of communist dictatorship), and narration so condescending it makes you cringe. It would be amusing if it were less self-righteous and jingoistic (sort of like the Bush Administration).
Subject: Did I not just watch 'Despotism'?
Isn't this the same thing? The fact that power hungry ruler who discovers the power of oil and thinks that competition for it is not good, and is determined to control most of the control over the oil in his planet is just a little too similar to people in command right now. Fairly fun animation though, whilst it runs just a wee bit too long.
pq ribber -
Subject: Amazing and Senseless
The logic that used to pass for such, as demonstrated here is downright spooky!! Great retro animation and paternalistic Petroleum Industry stuff, here. Extreme USA-centric world-view as well. You'd think all oil came from the US from watching this hokum.